Tag: California Democratic Party

Feb 10 2012

Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 10, 2012

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Qualcomm Stadium, Home of the San Diego Padres, San Diego, California

On to the pre-weekend California headlines:

California Democrats converge on San Diego

California Democrats will begin sketching out a roadmap to the November election and beyond when they converge thousands strong on the state party convention this weekend in San Diego.

The priorities of the more than 3,000 party activists, delegates, volunteers and elected officials expected here are many: Re-electing President Barack Obama and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, pushing to regain control of the House of Representatives, electing a supermajority in the state Legislature and passing tax increases in the fall.

They also will be keenly focused on a lesser-known ballot measure that would limit the ability of unions to raise political funds from their members.


Pete Schabarum, ‘father of term limits,’ revisits the issue

The “father of term limits” says he isn’t pleased with the way things turned out.

With another proposal to tinker with  Legislature service allowances on the June ballot, The Times caught up recently with former longtime Los Angeles County Supervisor Pete Schabarum. The blunt-spoken Republican won fans and foes when he upended state government with his 1990 ballot measure imposing limits on how long state politicians can stay in office. Several local governments and some other states soon followed suit.

Reached at his home in the desert community of Indian Wells, Schabarum said he had hoped his measure would encourage a new breed of “citizen legislator” who would serve the state for a short period of time and then return to private life, giving others opportunities to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to government.

Instead, many elected officials who want careers in politics engage in a near-constant rotation among posts.

“The guys and gals who are seeking office are always looking beyond where they land for the next jump,” Schabarum said. “They spend most of their time in office looking for their next job.”

What would he do differently if he’d know then what he knows now?

“I probably  would have provided longer timelines but not made it so they could bounce around from one house [of the Legislature] to another.”

Will he vote for a measure on the June 5 ballot that would shorten a legislator’s allowance from 14 years to 12?

“We’ll see,” replied Schabarum,  83.

SUSPENSE IN SANDY EGGO

Democrats convene at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego this weekend for their annual convention and, unlike many party gatherings, there is a lot to watch.

The best part of the weekend is 4:45-6:45 tomorrow evening, when the endorsing caucuses meet. These caucuses are held for districts in which a candidate had more than 50% and less than 70% at the regional conferences held in January.

Generally, candidates need 60% vote in tomorrow’s caucuses to get on the “consent calendar” for state party ratification on Sunday. However, an incumbent only needs 50%+1, which is rubbing some activists wrong

In districts where there are two incumbents (CD30 – Berman/Sherman), a candidate needs 60%.

California budget still imperiled by cash crunch

California’s tax revenues continue to pour into the state’s coffers well below what Gov. Jerry Brown forecast in his budget, a worrisome sign amid indications of an economic upturn.

State Controller John Chiang issued a report Friday showing that tax receipts in January were $528 million lower than the governor assumed in the budget he released a few weeks ago. That budget already assumed a $9 billion deficit.

“January’s revenues were disappointing on almost every front,” Chiang said in a statement.

The good news — or what passes for good news in the land of California budgeting — is that Chiang said the state is no longer in danger of entirely running out of cash next month. The Department of Finance will shift funds around and take out short-term loans to avoid falling as much as $3 billion in the red.

But the continuing lagging tax receipts are another dose of cold water on some who are hoping for an easier budget year.

Federal judge dismisses GOP’s political map suit

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of Republicans challenging California’s newly drawn congressional maps, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission announced Friday in its latest court victory.

U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson dismissed the challenge led by former congressman George Radanovich. Republicans, who have been trying to halt new district boundaries that could diminish their political clout, had argued that the commission improperly used race as a factor in creating voting districts.

The Los Angeles-based federal judge found that the California Supreme Court already considered and rejected the petition.

“Once again the work of the Citizens Redistricting Commission has been affirmed against baseless partisan attacks,” said commission chairwoman Jeanne Raya in a statement. “The federal court has found that the commission’s process complied with the law and was fair and representative.”

Attorneys representing Republicans did not immediately return a request for comment. They have the option to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over the federal Voting Rights act.

The decision marks the fifth time the 14-member citizens redistricting commission has been able to fend off a legal challenge.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Jan 23 2012

California Election 2012: California Democratic Party Pre-Endorsement Conferences

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Scott Lay at AroundtheCapitol.com and The Nooner has the breakdown on some of the results.

The Democratic Party held pre-endorsement conferences around the state over the weekend for state legislative and congressional races. Candidates receiving 70% of the vote of delegates to the conferences will be placed on the “consent calendar” for endorsement at the party’s February 10-12 convention. If one candidate receives more than 50% but less than 70% of the vote, the endorsement for that district will be considered at caucuses held at the convention. The candidate that received over 50% is listed here for reference, but they are not the only eligible candidate for the endorsement for that district at the convention caucuses. Here’s the official guide from the California Democratic Party.

Of interest to Ventura County are the following:

  • SD19 – Hannah-Beth Jackson – over 70%
  • SD27 – Fran Pavley – over 70%
  • CD26 – Steve Bennett – over 70%
  • CD30 – Brad Sherman – 50% – to convention

If you  are confused as to what these California Democratic Party Pre-endorsement conferences are or how they work, then head over to read John Meyer’s post here.

Thankfully, the California GOP will NOT weigh in with such a convoluted process – much to the dismay of California Republican Party Big Wigs who would like to be in control.

California voters will just have to decide for themselves, as to who is GOP enough and who is the RINO, I suppose.

I trust the voters, to make the RIGHT choice.

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Aug 27 2011

Arrogant Democrat Legislators Propose Changes to California Initiative Process

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It is not enough that the Democrats control almost 2/3’rd of the California Legislature, now they want to hamper California citizens to use the initiative and referendum process to act as check on their political power.

Democrats in the Legislature are trying to make it harder for Californians to pass their own laws at the ballot box, saying the state’s century-old initiative process has been hijacked by the special interests it was created to fight and has perpetuated Sacramento’s financial woes.

In the waning weeks of this year’s lawmaking session, legislators will push bills to raise filing fees, place new restrictions on signature gatherers and compel greater public disclosure of campaign contributors.

One measure would allow the Legislature to propose changes that would appear on the ballot alongside an initiative even if its sponsor rejected them. Another would give the Legislature the right to amend or repeal initiatives that pass, after four years have gone by.

Such changes would severely weaken what little leverage Republicans and their allies still have in California after last year’s election, which solidified Democratic control of the Capitol.

But Democrats say their efforts have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with moderating “direct democracy” gone wild.

“I don’t want to get rid of the initiative process,” said state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), one of the effort’s leaders and author of a proposal to make signature gatherers wear badges showing they are paid to collect names. “I just want it to work better.”

Republicans and their supporters are crying foul, saying Democrats just want to maintain the status quo.

The sad fact is that the Democrats have controlled the Legislature for decades in California and without a strong Republican Governir to veto bills, California would have been in a worse fiscal mess. Remeber when Gray Davis was Governor?

The initiative and referendum act as a check on the exuberance of California Democrats to spend the California treasury blind.

The proposed changes “are basically attempts to … blame the process because you are kind of losing the game,” said Shaun Bowler, an initiative expert at UC Riverside.

Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Linda), vice chairman of the lower house elections committee, called the initiative legislation “the height of arrogance.” Democrats “own the Legislature,” he said, “and they are making it impossible for the people to rise up and say enough is enough.”

The bills are just a blatant power grab by Democratic Legislators and should be rejected. But, will Democrat Governor Jerry Brown have the guts to veto the legislation?

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